Every couple is different. While your perfect date night out might be a raucous night on the town, that could be another Netflix-loving couple's nightmare. But no matter your personal tastes and past times, our experts say that the happiest couples do these things every day.
1. They have leaving and coming back together rituals.
According to Lesli Doares, marriage coach and author of Blueprint For A Lasting Marriage, research supports the idea that couples who have a ritual of greeting and leaving one another — whether that's when they first wake up or when they head off to work — have happier relationships. Why? "Because you are making a conscious effort to seek each other out," Doares says. "These times aren't taken for granted but intentionally acknowledged."
2. They touch base throughout the day.
Couples who keep in contact also keep one another's spirits up, says psychotherapist and relationship coach Toni Coleman. "That means touching base throughout the day by phone, text, or email just to say hi, tell one another you're thinking about the other, or to check in about your plans for the evening," she says. "How nice it is to know we are a priority to our partner — even when we are apart."
3. They have uninterrupted one-on-one time together.
And not just for a few seconds. The happiest couples soak up quality time for no less than 15 minutes each day, Doares says. "When you are focused on each other for more than a few minutes, you get past informational exchanges and can engage in deeper conversations that create connection," she explains. "Making this time a priority that isn't competing with children, text messages, TV, or emails shows how important nurturing your relationship is."
4. They share a laugh.
Happy couples get their giggle on whenever they can. Perhaps you spot something seriously funny on the sidewalk and snap a photo for your spouse, or you make a habit of sending one another corny jokes as a way to break up an otherwise boring day. "The point is, something makes you laugh and you want to share this with your partner," explains Coleman. "A shared sense of humor is an important part of relationship chemistry."
5. They give each other at least one sincere compliment.
The happiest couples make a habit of making one another feel good. Why? Because regular compliments will do more than give you love a confidence boost. "The time you spend identifying something positive your partner does keeps you learning about them and really noticing what they bring to your life," says Doares. "It keeps the negativity that is so destructive to relationships at bay. And, it also keeps you from taking those positives for granted."
6. They tell each other "I love you" in the love language of choice.
There are many ways to make people feel loved, from quality time to buying gifts. The happiest couples understand their partners' love languages and speak them. "Some people like to hear words, others appreciate acts of service, while others need a hug or kiss to feel loved," says Doares. "Learning your partner's love language and speaking it daily leaves no doubt about how you each feel about the other. It also shows a willingness to go out of your comfort zone to let them know how you feel in a way they best understand."
7. They go to bed at the same time if possible.
Finally, says Doares, "settling in together at the end of the day is a great way to increase intimacy — and not just sex. Your last words and thoughts will be with each other and this is can increase your sense of security with each other. And, yes, it will increase the chance of being physically intimate with each other as well — and that is almost always good for your relationship."